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Home > Animal Acupuncture > Holistic Veterinary Medicine

Holistic Veterinary Medicine

By Brian Puterman

Holistic veterinary medicine deals with your petís health as a whole. Body, emotions, mind and spirit are all taken into account when treating you petís illnesses and conditions. From there the practitioner can develop a treatment protocol using a wide range of therapies for healing the patient. The holistic veterinarian is interested in genetics, nutrition, family relationships, hygiene, and stress factors. Holistic medicine is inclusive of every facet of your companion animalís life including your relationship to the animal. Itís preventative as well as curative in nature.

Holistic medicine, by its very nature, is a humane science. The systems used in holistic medicine are gentle, minimally invasive, and focus on the patient well-being and stress reduction. Holistic thought is based on love, empathy and respect.

Holistic medicine attempts to address disease through a series of analytic observations. When treating the animal, the goal of the holistic veterinarian is to find the root cause of the pathology. Even the most basic illness may have several layers of causation. Only when the true source of the ailment has been found is there the possibility for a long-term recovery. After discovering the foundation of the illness the holistic veterinarian prescribes the most effective, least invasive, least expensive, and least harmful treatment for your pet. In more extreme situations surgery and drug therapy from conventional medicine may be integrated with alternative techniques to provide a complementary whole.

The first building block in preventing disease is proper nutrition. A vast majority of pets eat what would be considered a complete and balanced diet, but they are not getting their individual needs met nutritionally. Obviously paying close attention to the ingredients in commercially produced food and supplementing your pets diet with vitamins and minerals is a good start. Donít let things like ďcomplete nutritional needsĒ on a label influence you. There may be a proper amount of vitamins and minerals in the can, but your pet may not be absorbing these nutrients for a variety of reasons.

Itís best to create a diet for your pet with natural foods designed with his or her needs in mind. These natural foods will be palatable, preservative free, practical and cost-effective, as well as environmentally sound. For more information, see our article The Benefits of a Raw Food Diet.

Below is a list of some of the many modalities incorporated into holistic veterinary medicine.

Augmentation Therapy, sometimes known as Orthomolecular Medicine: This is a modality that incorporates supplemental minerals, vitamins and nutrients that remedy deficiencies, prevent disease and can reverse tissue damage. Supplements are prescribed that assist the organs and body tissues and aid the body in detoxification.

Behavior Modification: This incorporates ethology, biology, nutrition, pharmacology, lifestyle evaluation and aspects of modern psychotherapy. Every discipline listed here affects behavior, disease and health.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been used in China for nearly five thousand years. It is the primary treatment for a quarter of the world's population. The main goal of veterinary acupuncture is to strengthen the body's immune system in order to encourage the body's adaptive, homeostatic mechanism.

Botanical Medicine: This form of medicine uses the plant and plant derivatives as therapeutic agents. These plants originate anywhere in the world. There are over 4000 botanicals available today.

Ayurveda: This is a whole system of holistic healing from India that means literally "the Science of LifeĒ. Ayurveda includes not just the treatment of disease but also the creation and maintenance of health and wellness. It emphasizes living in harmony with the laws of nature.

Using complementary and alternative medicine gives your veterinarian a variety ways in which to treat diseases. An important aspect of holistic medicine is the prevention and early detection of disease. In conventional medicine veterinarians wait for something to go wrong and then fix it. Holistic health practices, on the other hand, are incorporated into the day-to-day life of the pet.

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